A student of mine came into my office ecstatic last week – she got a job offer to work in New York City, which has been her dream. I was elated for her too since we had been working together for months to expand her potential career pathways and get her ready for interviews.
Before making a final decision, my student had some questions she wanted to be answered. She wondered if this was the right position for her and whether she would enjoy working at the company. Additionally, she asked about what it would be like to move from rural Pennsylvania to New York City and whether the benefits were adequate.
And then I inquired “the question”- How are you going to achieve a negotiation?
Many of my clients hesitate when I ask this question, but it would be negligent of me to not encourage negotiation during the job offer process. It’s incredibly important to develop strong negotiating skills early and become comfortable with the act itself. Here are some tips to steer your next negotiation conversation and make you more confident in asking for what you want:
1. Do your research.
Utilize Payscale.com and Salary.com to investigate comparable positions’ salaries in the area you will be employed. Also, request from individuals you know who have similar roles for a salary range ballpark figure in their industry/area.
2. Don’t sell yourself short.
Show your potential employer that you are the candidate they need by keeping a list of your major accomplishments to date and how those skills will transfer over. Let them know that not only can you deliver results, but you have done so in the past as well.
3. Sometimes, negotiation isn’t only about money!
If you’re struggling to negotiate your salary, think about what else would matter to you in the workplace. For example, would you like to be able to take a yoga class during work hours? Would it be important for you to leave early on Fridays so that you can volunteer? Or do you value having more vacation days?
4. Most employers expect you to negotiate.
Understand that some employers might be disappointed if you don’t negotiate your salary. Enter the negotiation process with this in mind.
I’ve successfully negotiated with my employer two times using these tips. My first request wasn’t met during the initial negotiation, so I restated my salary requirement and explained how I would deliver results for the organization again. They met my requirement during the second negotiation, which resulted in a pay increase of nearly 20 percent! And, they allow me to teach one kids yoga class during the week. As for my student, I’m still waiting to hear how their negotiation went.
Here’s to Equal Pay Day! And, remember, you’ll never know unless you ask.